Three years on from my original post in Dog World on the dangers of microchipping (click HERE for the article), with April 6th looming I revisit the issue.
I recently saw a story in the Daily Mirror that certainly gave me food for thought. It concerned microchipping, which, as many of you know is a particular interest of mine. Three years ago I wrote a letter to Dog World because I was concerned about the blanket acceptance of this procedure and what seemed to be the complete exclusion of all dissenting voices. There had been many concerns raised over the safety of microchipping dogs, movement of the chips and indeed mumblings about a possible link to cancer. Continue reading
From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (21st October 2015).
We recently bred our first litter of Boston Terriers and were lucky enough to have four strapping puppies born that have proved to be a constant source of joy and amusement but sadly (and all too soon) reality kicks in and one realises that these little, constantly-busy bodies will soon need homes of their own. Continue reading
From my Dog World column ‘Crossing the headlines’ (2nd September 2015).
HAVE YOU ever noticed how sections of the media seem to become obsessed and fixate on certain subjects? We have the Daily Mail’s current obsession with migrants, the Daily Express’ bizarre obsession with Britain’s erratic weather and Channel Four and Five’s obsession with benefits.
They first gave us Benefit Busters, Benefits Britain and Benefit Street and these were quickly followed by a whole raft of similarly themed shows like Britain’s Benefit Tenants, Gypsies on Benefits and Proud, Too Fat to Work, Me and My 14 kids and now – and of course it was only a matter of time – Dogs on the Dole. Continue reading
From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (22nd July 2015) about my Dachshund, Alfie, becoming the new face of the Vitality adverts.
We all know that appearances on TV and in films can have a profound effect on the popularity (and health) of our dog breeds. Over the years we’ve witnessed the peaks of popularity witnessed by many diverse breeds… and it’s a familiar story that rarely ends well. Continue reading
From my Dog World column ‘Crossing the headlines’ (12th November 2014).
A few days ago an elderly neighbour from several doors down knocked. I was quite surprised to open the door and find her standing there as we have only ever exchanged the usual polite pleasantries but I immediately knew something was troubling her.
Wringing her hands she said the words I suppose many of us dread; “I hear you know a bit about dogs… I wonder if you could help me?” Continue reading
From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (8th October 2014).
One of the joys of living in this country is being able to walk into a store like WH Smith or any one of our large supermarkets and being able to flick through the vast array of glossy magazines on offer on a mind-boggling amount of subjects. I find it incredible that subjects like model trains or stitchcraft, etc, can support three or four dedicated, high quality magazines – but somehow they do. Continue reading
From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (7th May 2014) where I question various studies into crossbreed health and longevity.
Carrying on with the positive legacy from Crufts, wasn’t it good to read the findings of the Royal Veterinary College last week? Scientists analysed the data of 148,741 dogs expecting to prove the conventional wisdom that selective breeding makes the pedigree dog more susceptible to serious conditions but, to their surprise, they discovered (what time working in boarding kennels had proved to me already) that both the mongrel and the pedigree have broadly the same chance of developing the most common health problems. In fact, for degenerative joint disease, the mongrel was found to be more vulnerable. This study’s findings echoed those published back in June 2013 by researchers at the University of California at Davis. Continue reading
Continuing the arguments against compulsory microchipping, this was sent to me by Stephen McMurray of 7th Heaven Animal Rescue Trust in Northern Ireland. It was also published in Dog World in February 2014.
We, at 7th Heaven Animal Rescue Trust have been voicing our opposition to microchipping ever since it was made compulsory for dog owners in Northern Ireland to have their dogs chipped. I believe that certain parties are also trying to introduce it in the U.K. mainland. I urge your readers to fight this dangerous and unnecessary proposal as I can now prove, using official statistics, that microchipping simply doesn’t work.
Laboratory evidence and real life cases prove that RFID chips can cause cancer and tissue damage and as there is no health benefits whatsoever, we have long argued that it is unethical to carry out this dangerous and unnecessary medical procedure on our pets.
The initial reason compulsory micro-chipping was supposedly introduced was that it would curtail the amount of ‘dangerous dog’ attacks. This is patently preposterous. Personally, I have never heard of a dog that is about to viciously attack someone think to itself, ‘Hi, hold on a minute, I have a piece of glass and metal inside my neck, I better not attack this person.’ Continue reading
From my ‘Crossing the headlines’ column in Dog World (6th November 2013) where I review more new TV documentaries on dogs and the promotion of designer dogs.
So, has the Kennel Club at long last decided to change direction? What with the announcement that crossbreeds will not now be registered and then the change of heart over CC allocation, could it really be true that the KC is now listening to the hardworking breed clubs and councils and, most importantly, the exhibitors?
From a personal point, it’s also been gratifying to have many of my arguments (put forward in this column and seized upon elsewhere) justified.
Maybe now the KC could look across the pond and listen to what the new AKC chairman has recently said:”We will immediately and aggressively respond to any attack utilising our partners, our supporters and our full media assets.”
This is exactly the kind of weapons needed to fend off further attacks from the BBC. Wouldn’t it be good to have our KC put a little of its recent £12m windfall aside for a similar media response or publicity venture?
Far too often, TV shows are broadcast that slate pedigree dogs and their owners and make all sorts of inaccurate statements with absolutely no response or comeback. Continue reading
From the letters page of Dog World (5th April 2013)
In the spring of 1991 (aged seventeen) I ‘bunked off’ from a long and boring day of A-Level Economic History lectures and caught the train to Earls Court to the very last Crufts to be held in London. This year (twenty-two years later) I made my belated return to Crufts and, although vastly different to the show I remembered all those years ago (now with its myriad of trade stalls and all its associated glitz and razzmatazz), one thing clearly hadn’t changed and that was the sheer dedication and passion of those people supporting their respective breeds.